Imágenes de páginas

save labor and avoid great confusion; but why any proclamation now upon the subject? This subject is beset with the conflicting views that the step might be delayed too long, or be taken too soon. In soine States the elements for resumption seen rady for action, but remain in active apparently for want of a rallying pointa plan of action. Why all adopt the plan of B, rather than B that of A? And if A and B should agree, how can they know but that the General Government here will rejeet thrir plan? By the proclamation, a plan is presented which may be accepted by them as a rallying point, and which they are assured in advance will not be rejected here. This may bring them to act sooner than they otherwise would. The objections t) a premature presentation of a plan by the national executive, consists in the danger of committing itself on points which could be more safely left to further developments. Care has been taken to so shape the document as to avoid embarrassment, from this source, saying that on certain terms certain classes will be pardoned, with rights restored. It is not said that other classes or other terms will never be included. Saying a reconstruction will be accepted, if presented in a specified way. It is not said it will never be accepted in any other way.

The movement by State action for emancipation in several of the States not included in the emancipation proclamation, are matters of profound gratulation. And while I do not repeat in detail what I have heretofore so earnestly urged upon this subject, my general views and feelings remain unchanged; and I trust that Congress will omit no fair opportunity of aiding these important steps to the great consummation. In the midst of other cares, however important, we must not lose sight of the fact that the war power is still our main reliance. To that power alone can we look set for a time to give confidence to people in contested regions, that insurgent power will not again overrun them. Until that confidence shall be established, little can be done anywhere for what is called reconstruction. Hence, our chiefest care must still be directed to the army and navy, which have thus far borne their harder part so nobly and well ; and it may be estecined fortunate that in giving the greatest efficiency to these indispensable arms, we do honorably recognize the gallant men, from commander to sentinel, who compose them, and to whom, more than to others, the world must stand indebted for the home of freedom, disenthralled, regenerated, enlarged and perpetuated.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN. December 8th, 1863.

III. Persons desiring to avail themselves of the amnesty above proclaimed by the President, will report themselves to the nearest Provost Marshal ard subscribe to the prescribed oath.

The Provost Marsbal General will give the necessary ir structions to his subordinates.



Acting Assistant Adjutant General.


Acting Assistant Adjutant General.

« AnteriorContinuar »